Thursday, March 22, 2018

Career Plateau?

Today as I was driving to work, the thought suddenly hit me "What if this is high point of my career?"

I overall enjoy my job in a way that I cannot think I since at least 2008 - the work is engaging, there is plenty of it, my coworkers are pleasant, and the company makes it worth my while to show up every day (and work some on the side as well).  My commute is not what is has been since 1996 in terms of mileage and time. 

At the same time (as regular readers are no doubt aware - painfully so) this was and is not ever what I would consider to be my "ideal" career.  Not that I know what the ideal career looks like (although I have a rather long list of things that it is not.), but just that sense of this is not quite the bullseye I was hoping for.

Yes in the back of my head I find myself always hoping or secretly thinking that somehow that magic window will appear and I will be able to step out of this and into that.  But what if that day never comes?

That is the risk, of course - you get halfway through your career (more than halfway through your estimated life) and all of a sudden you realize the horizon you thought was so far away is coming at you faster than you expected.  The mountains are rising out of the desert and the bypass you assumed would be there - perhaps the maps even told you would be there - is simply missing. 

What then? 

It is a hard realization, that the blue sky you always saw in front your career has disappeared and maybe there is no more "up" to be had, only a leveling out which might extend out until the day you decide to land.  And the second realization you make is that such a landing will have to be a hard, conscious choice - not a gentle descent into the ethereal "next". 

I hope it is not like that.  I hope I continue to enjoy my job, that it still has upside potential and that my landing will be as happy and straightforward as I would hope it is.

But, sadly, I still am having to pack the parachute.  Because you never know.

4 comments:

Rain said...

I agree that the horizon is getting closer. It used to scare me, but the way I look at it, I've done 50 years here on earth, why not another 50? :)

Glen Filthie said...

Maybe you're over-thinking it TB?

Jobs don't define us. When you are on your death bed you aren't going to wish you had made it further up that corporate totem pole; you'll probably wish you stayed a little longer in Japan, or spent more time harassing the dawg or the kids, or had one more year with the garden.

Work? Pbbfhfhfhfft! Jobs come, jobs go. I keep my eye on the important stuff.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Rain - Agreed. It is not terribly frightening for me this point as well - than the fact that on the whole, the next 50 has some significant physical changes which will ultimately change how I live and am able to conduct my life.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Glen, I am pretty sure that I overthink everything. And that said, on the one hand I understand the sentiment of the job not being everything nor being something I will miss upon my passing; on the other hand, I am confronted by the fact that this is how I am now spending a third of my life (and sadly, I do not see things slowing down).